Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Mast lamp.

Yesterday, while on my travels, I intended to pop into Blue Gee in Poole to buy some Epoxy to finish the rudder and protect some of the woodwork, Hatches, washboards etc.   Darn, Blue Gee no longer have a place in Poole.  What I did find on the same estate was a company called Tricket marine.. They don't sell epoxy but they do sell spares for engines, so took the opportunity to buy some service items for the outboard,  Plug, Filter & white grease.  I noticed they had some other bitsand pieces, one of which is one of those combined Masthead / Foredeck lamps.  It looks like it may have been there a while so I cheekily asked if the would knock a bit off to clear it.   £20 and the deal was done.
These lamps have quite a bad reputation for corroding up and falling apart.  I followed a thread on a forum the other week which was quite scathing about them.   My expectations are not high for this but I feel that with a bit thought about how to keep the salt out I may have some success with it.  The biggest problem in my mind it that the deck lamp is completely exposed.  Not sure if or how I will  deal with that yet. :)
In other news I bought some stainless bolts so the outhaul bracket is now done.    The season officially starts tomorrow and I have some jobs still to do before I can even think about putting her back in.
  1. Epoxy and paint rudder blade.
  2. Make tiller bracket. (I have material, waiting for a friend to bore a 25mm hole in it).
  3. Epoxy seal and varnish the bench hatches.
  4. Fit Masthead light.
  5. Stem head fitting needs removing and rebedding.
  6. Clean hull and Antifoul.
All I need now is some time, energy and inspiration.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Outhaul bracket, limited success

Above are the tattered remains of fixing which once attached my outhaul and toppng lift to the boom.  For the last season and a half I have be using the spare arm on the end to attach these two to.   If you recall I knocked up a bracket out of the old rudder cup, the intention being to attached a hoop to it and bolt it over the broken end.

It generally went OK but I had limited success with tapping the plate to accept the bolts.  The metal is quite poor quality, no wonder it snapped,  and was too thin to take a tap successfully.  For now I have riveted it on but this is not a good permanent solution.  I will have to drill above the two rivets and secure through with a nut and bolt.  The bolt head will be able to sit nicely in the sail slug track.

I am, once again, running out of time and have got sooo much to do!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Last piece of the jigsaw

Nut fits the thread.. which is a bonus
A short post tonight.. The elusive stainless steel nut arrived today, completing the rudder tube assembly.  I have to say it is a relief to know that it fits the thread on the tube :)
The complete tube assembly

With the nut and spacer fitted

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A bit more rudder and some odds and sods.

Now that the sikaflex has set, it is time to start laying up some GRP.   First thing I needed to do was to position the blade so that I could work on it in various positions without covering myself in gloop.
I clamped a length of tube in the vice which allowed the stock to be supported but free to rotate.. The brown tin on the bench provided the stop which allowed me to work on other side of the blade.

I used a flap wheel on the angle grinder to take the top layer of antifoul, paint and gel coat off the leading edge and shape it to some extent.   This produced a lot of toxic dust so a good respirator was required.
After a wipe down with Acetone the gaps were filled with epoxy/micro fibre mix and the whole area was wetted before applying a layer of matting.  This was then further soaked and rollered to fully impregnate the matting. 

Left to dry, I am sure it will need a lot more work but as I have run out of resin, that will be all for now.

Today I also fitted the new stanchion tops,  they didn't fit too well in my stanchions so needed additional fixing.  The first one I drilled through the old guard wire hole and bolted it in.  This was ok but looks a little naff.

The rest I have riveted on and these look much better.  I had been using rope as guard wire but had found the old standing rigging from Jelly Bean in  box in the garage.  The Shrouds turned out to be plenty long enough to make stainless wire guard wires from, can't beat recycling :)
A couple of seasons ago some kind soul on a much larger sail boat over took me, as I was passing the last marker on the training wall which runs out to Studland, and stole my wind.  With no forward motion, I drifted into the post and my topping lift snagged, breaking the bracket at the end of the boom.

So back on the recycling theme, I used the old lower pintle cup to make a new end plate for the boom.   I made a simple pattern and cut it out with a hacksaw and finished it with a file.  I will drill a hole for the topping lift and may weld on a small hoop to attached a block for the outhaul.  This will be a big improvement.
It's late in the day and these are small steps but it is getting there.. I have decided not to make a list of jobs this year to avoid disappointment.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Stanchion tops

Ooh yeah,  have been keeping an eye out for these since the first time I climbed aboard Ciao Bella and nearly gouged a hole in my arm. 
Whilst out and about today, begging customers for a final bit of spend before the end of the financial year,  my colleague said "have you ever been to the chandlery barge".   Well I've clearly been missing out.  What a treasure trove of junk, I mean priceless artefacts for skint sailors.   Having a general rummage for things like cleats, hatches and winches I came across a big box of these charmers.  £12 exchanged across the counter plus a couple of cup cakes for comic relief and the staff, all dressed as pirates, let us leave without walking the plank.  
It's one of those places which I've always known about but never been to... Going to be hard to drive past it in the future. :)

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Ruddy rudder

I've made some more progress on getting the rudder back together with a huge amount of help from my favorite Yorkshire man.  Brian has a great workshop with some tip top tools and the knowledge to use them.
First I needed to mark up the rudder stock and tube for where the flange will sit, the position of the blade and the approximate position of each tang.
Marking position of blade and tangs

I took (nearly) everything to Brians... I did forget to take the bottom hinge bracket, the Stainless strips and the bottom of the skeg, so I'll have to go back another day to finish that off..
Brian doing his thang
After a lot of lining up, measuring and checking again Brian tacked the flange onto the tube.  I was feeling brave so asked if I could have a go at the welding.  I'd never tried stick welding before or welded Stainless so this was new to me.  The results weren't pretty but fairly robust.    
The 25mm Stainless stock was drilled through in two places to allow the 10mm rod tangs to pass through and be welded on the back side.  These holes were then used as a jig to drill into the rudder blade.  Once the tangs were hammered into the blade.and the stock hammered onto the tangs, all a good interferrance fit, the tangs were welded to the stock.. I left this for Brian to do :)

No seagull poop comments please.

The flange hadn't looked 100% square on the tube when I'd finished welding it but fortunately, back at the ranch,I could see the GRP on the boat had a slight slope on it, so more by luck than judgement, the flange fitted perfectly.
Glooping it up
I used copious amounts of Sikaflex to fill the big gaps (above) and attach the leading edge of the blade (Below).  I then strapped it up to set and will shape and epoxy it all back together over the coming week.
Stick the leading edge back on.